The Benefits of Prayer and Fasting (Pt.9)

by Rick

Today we continue our new series entitled, “The Benefits of Prayer and Fasting,” under the banner of the overall series for the year: “Expectation.”  Yesterday we saw how Elijah was a fearless hero one moment and somewhat of a scared and frustrated man the next.  The pressures of life got to him and he literally got to the point where he wanted to die.  He said to God, “I have had enough, Lord!  Take my life.  I am no better than my ancestors.”  The Lord then helped Elijah get some rest.  The Lord sent an angel to give him food and drink, and he then sent Elijah on a journey.  During the journey Elijah fasted for 40 days and 40 nights.  

 

At the end of the fast Elijah arrived at Mount Horeb, the mountain of God.  There he had a supernatural encounter with God.  The Lord said, I will pass by you.  So Elijah prepared himself for this supernatural experience.  A very strong wind blew.  The wind caused the mountains to break apart.  It broke large rocks in front of the Lord.  Elijah thought that was God.  But the Lord was not in the wind.  Afterwards, there was an earthquake.  All the earth moved around Elijah.  But the Lord was not in the earthquake.  After the earthquake, there was a fire.  Elijah could feel the heat.  But the Lord was not in the fire.  Finally, after the fire, there was a still gentle voice.  The voice was God.  

(Read 1 Kings 19:1-18)

 

So what does this mean to you today?  A few things.

 

1.  We all run the risk of being burned-out.

a)  People don’t get burn-out from God.  The more you walk with God, the more He will renew you and empower you to keep going.  But you can surely get burned-out doing things in the name of God.  This is why you must keep a clear ear towards God.  He will let you know when you are out of His will and in the need of internal revival.  

b)  Not everyone who is WITH you is FOR you.  You will endure attacks on the road to your purpose.  It is your relationship with the Father that will keep you going.  If you don’t have a true relationship with God, it is easy to want to give up.

 

2.  We must all make time to get restored in the presence of God.

a)  I gave my life to Christ when I was 23 years old.  I plan on walking with God ‘till the day I die.  If you are truly committed to God for the long haul, then you will need to be restored, revived and rejuvenated along the way.  Your journey with God is a marathon, not a sprint.  If you don’t plan stops along the way, where you can allow God to build you back up again, you may find yourself like Elijah did, ready to quit and even ready to die.  Having dedicated time for rest and restoration is critical.

b)  Fasting can revive your relationship with God to the point where you can hear Him again.  This is what Elijah needed and quite honestly, we all need it from time to time.

 

3.  Your ear must be attuned to God’s voice.

a)  In order to maximize your purpose and potential in Christ Jesus, you must be able to discern God’s voice.

b)  There is a lot of “noise” in the world and you must be able to hear God’s voice through it.  God positioned Elijah on a Mount Horeb and told him that He was about to pass by him.  Elijah was excited.  He was ready.  Then Elijah heard a very strong wind.  But the Lord was not in the wind.  Then there was an earthquake.  The Lord was not in the earthquake.  Then there was a fire.  The Lord was not in the fire.  Finally, Elijah heard a still gentle voice.  The voice was God.  This happened while Elijah was on a 40-day fast.  Fasting helps you discern the voice of God.

 

Closing Confession:  

Father, this is a season of expectation for me.  I make time to spend time in Your presence.  I develop a lifestyle of prayer and fasting.  I enjoy spending time with You.  In my time with You, You restore me, revive me, and rejuvenate me to the point where I am ready to continue with my mission.  In my time with You, I learn to discern Your voice.  I am not moved by the distractions of this world.  I am only moved by Your Word.  I live by every Word You speak to me Father.  So, as I enter this day I say, “Speak Lord, Your servant is hearing!”  I will go where You tell me to go, I will do what You lead me to do, and I will be encouraged by our relationship every step of the way!  I declare this by faith.  In Jesus’ name, Amen!

 

This is Today’s Word.  Apply it and prosper!

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